Looking for Middle Ground in Cultural Attraction Theory

Evolutionary Anthropology 28 (1):14-17 (2019)
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In their article, Thom Scott‐Phillips, Stefaan Blancke, and Christophe Heintz do a commendable job summarizing the position and misunderstandings of “cultural attraction theory” (CAT). However, they do not address a longstanding problem for the CAT framework; that while it has an encompassing theory and some well‐worked out case studies, it lacks tools for generating models or empirical hypotheses of intermediate generality. I suggest that what the authors diagnose as misunderstandings are instead superficial interpretive errors, resulting from researchers who have attempted to extract generalizable hypotheses from CAT and bring them into contact with the analytical and inferential models of contemporary cultural evolutionary research.



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Andrew Buskell
Georgia Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

Culture and Cognitive Science.Andreas De Block & Daniel Kelly - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Cultural evolution.Tim Lewens - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Culture and cognitive science.Jesse Prinz - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Demographic Cultures and Demographic Skepticism.Andrew Buskell - 2023 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 14 (2):477-496.

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